A Victory For All Americans — And Especially for Latinos

By Richard Figueroa

Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled on what is perhaps the most significant legal victory for the health and wellness of the American people in the last 60 years.

The Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act carries with it great benefits for Americans, but will have an especially strong effect on Latinos, who are disproportionately uninsured. As we move toward full implementation of the law in 2014, more and more of its benefits will become clear. Overall, the law is doing three key things to improve our health care system: providing new consumer protections, expanding health coverage, and helping to reduce and control health care costs.

For too long, access to quality care has been a challenge for many Latino families for reasons that include growing out-of-pocket expenses, transportation issues, unaffordability or a shortage of health care professionals in the area. In fact, the Latino population routinely pays more in out-of-pocket health expenses and is more likely to dip into savings to cover health-related expenses than any other group. Under full implementation of the new law, affordable health coverage is a reality.

The Urban Institute estimates that the new law will help six million Latinos gain access to coverage that was previously unattainable due to factors such as cost or insurance companies’ ability to deny coverage. Consumer protections and state health benefit exchanges will make help coverage affordable and increase the quality of care for those in need of insurance and those whose coverage is inadequate. And the new law will continue to reduce costs by keeping individuals out of emergency rooms for routine care, provide access to preventive care, and stop people from delaying treatment.

One significant provision of the law that has stayed in place due to the Court’s decision allows the nearly 750,000 Latino young adults (age 19-26) to remain covered through their parents’ plan. Some additional common sense reforms eliminate exclusions based on pre-existing conditions and guarantee your insurance company can’t cancel your coverage due to illness, letting Latino families focus on getting well instead of worrying about how getting sick could lead to financial ruin.

We know the law is not perfect – for example, it does nothing to address the uninsured undocumented Latinos in this country – but it is a step in the right direction. Furthermore, the expected expansion of community clinics under the new law will be an increasingly reliable resource for all residents.

The Supreme Court’s ruling can help make health happen in our neighborhoods. It is a step forward in making affordable, quality health coverage available to all. In fact, by 2014 every American will be better off than they are today. And that’s a win for America.

Richard Figueroa is the Director of Prevention for The California Endowment.

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July 12, 2012  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

Comments

10 Responses to “A Victory For All Americans — And Especially for Latinos”

  1. robert short on July 23rd, 2012 7:43 pm

    who is going to pay for this? the suprem court has ruled this a tax.

  2. robert l short on July 23rd, 2012 7:47 pm

    who is going to pay for this ? the suprem court has ruled yhis a tax and this is aploy for the preident to gane votes

  3. Mark silvas on July 25th, 2012 8:55 pm

    I know it sounds too good to be true, but who’s gonna be paying for this insurance. Tax payers are tired of paying for all the latinos who come to the U.S. undocumented and I, as a hard working person will end up paying for all the latinos who drive better cars, and are on welfare sending all their money to Mexico and while the government provides everything for free for all the Mexicans. I know some mexicans that tell me that they have a nice house back in mexico because they are on welfare and have babies like rabbits. that’s the reason america is broke. I wish the government will stop giving free or cheap everything to latinos and start thinking on their own people. We help the whole world, but who helps usa.

  4. Sue Black on July 27th, 2012 5:33 pm

    This law does not just help the Latino’s. It help anybody and everybody that needs health care. It is not a tax. The only part that is a tax is the penalty if someone does not get coverage. Please read the full article on the court ‘s decisions.

  5. Mayra Perez on July 31st, 2012 9:20 pm

    Excuse me, but its not only Mexicans on welfare,. Are you afraid to mention other nationalities? First of all keep in mind, that undocumented people do not qualify for benefits. I don’t know what type of friends you have, that say they have nice houses in Mexico, believe me if that was the case, I truly believe they they would’ve never left their country And with the high cost of living, who in their right mind will send ALL their money to their countries. Please lets get real here, and stop blaming only MEXICANS. This recession is in almost every country. Why you act, like all of your pay check goes straight to welfare? That is called paying taxes, you are not the only one paying taxes here. I am sure you have relatives out there on welfare due to this recession, which is okay. I been unemployed for three years, and I have not applied for any this of Public Service, and I worked hard since I was 16 years old, until I got laid off.

  6. Chava Nadi on August 3rd, 2012 3:20 pm

    Interesting to me – “especially Latino’s” . . . Being an immigrant myself I find this quite offensive. Are you American Citizens or are you still the citizen of your original country? If you’re not going to be loyal to the United States then why did you leave your original country…and also, if that’s where your loyalty lies, why don’t you return? We will all pay for these benefits thru taxation..one way or the other. … and basic “free ride” that so many have taken advantage of over the years is coming to a halt really…and with that the collapse of the entire financial system in this country. Greed….corporate, immigrants and those who don’t chose to be part of this culture. It sickens me, this whole thing. Bottom line is: if you are not going to be loyal to this country, why are you here? More free handouts? Great.

  7. Angelica Torres on August 5th, 2012 2:26 pm

    People will read into an article the best way that it suits them. The reason that this will impact Latinos the most is because there is a majority of Latinos that live in poverty. My parents have been in the U.S. for 35 years and they are uninsured AND they pay taxes. This is the same story for many Latinos. I have been working since the age of 14 here in the U.S. I have never been on welfare and I currently pay a little over $1,000 dollars a month in taxes. Do I like paying taxes? Of course not! But you have to remember that we have so many services that are offered to those that are not as lucky as some of us are. Do some take advantage of these programs? Of course. Why not have grants that can be utilized to help them get some kind of education and get them off welfare instead of having people collect paychecks for years to come. I know that it is not as easy as I’m painting it but the government does offer a lof of resources – free childcare / preschool. All I’m saying is that it can be done. We will pay taxes anyways; let them go to a good cause.

  8. DIANE TREVIZO on August 14th, 2012 7:16 pm

    I am a Latino American woman born in the United States.My mother came here at the age of thirteen and toiled in the fields so that AMERICANS get get low cost produce. She worked hard to try and obtain the American dream. Each one of my siblings has worked from the age age of thirteen. We all have been paying taxes since a very early age. We are all not on welfare driving luxury cars. That’s is ridiculous. Many of us are living day to day like many other AMERICANS. I am blessed to say that I have been constantly employed for 28 years. I do have health care through my employer that has been negotiated by my labor union the Teamsters. I do realize that many of my Latino brothers and sisters who work just as hard as myself have no health insurance and their employers get a away without paying them anything. Immigrants are the backbone of this country we all benefit from their labor whether we want to recognize it. All human beings deserve medical care. I don’t mind using a single payer system like the one in Canada or the UK. Let:s not be ignorant people poor White,Asian,Black, will benefit from health care reform. Give it a chance. In the long run it will save us all money and bring down cost. Don’t listen to all the rhetoric. Read up.

  9. dwight on August 29th, 2012 3:55 pm

    i work with mexacans an get the same pay but they pay 20 or30 dollors a week an i pay 140 they also get foodstamps and they tell me i cant get foodstamps cause i make 2 much must be cause iam white

  10. DIANNA on September 12th, 2012 9:22 am

    Has anyone driven by the fields lately to see who is working them? I think you will find it is the hispanics who are working their tails off in the soaring heat to earn money to send home to their families and they usually live in a labor camp so they are not living above their means or taking anything from us but this whole thing really began when dear president Carter brought in the boat people in the name of “HELPING US IN VIET NAM” I guarantee the number brought in did not and would not help americans at anytime and yet the vast majority are on welfare because they have someone who speaks their language and helps put them on in the name of free money, then one of the relatives owns apts who lets them live there rent free for working for them in one of their businesses but puts down rent so welfare thinks they are paying rent and they only report enough income so they can stay on welfare, yes playing the system that we americans set up! They also have drs of their nationality who list many of their children as having heart mur murs so they get disability forever from the accounts americans have set up!! They bring over their parents and grandparents who get on social security disability or just social security and they never paid a dime into it and we wonder why it is broke along with medicare. Yes the government borrowed from it as the answer to all the problems for years but adding more people to the already over burdened baby boomers age has caused more to be paid out to a system already in the red! I personally think Carter needs to take all these people and put them to work on his peanut farm and take them off the system. Now we have to hire teachers who speak the language and in every phase of daily existance we have to hire someone to speak their language because they dont want to learn ours?? The Cubans are taking over Florida, The Russians taking over Sac., Ca. The Hindu (forgive my ignorance in not knowing all the different ethnic nationalities but…

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